A lot of people underestimate the importance of software architecture. Some people just don’t know what it is and what the benefits are. Although software architecture seems to be very tech-oriented and a lot of people think that it’s not for them, it’s a mistake! When you are planning to build a house, you want to hire a good architect to be sure that you will get a house with a solid foundation. It’s the same with software architecture. It’s the root of the software. It creates a solid foundation for the software project to ensure that your project will be scalable and powerful. In this article, I will explain what software architecture is and what the main benefits of software architecture are.
What Is Software Architecture?
Software architecture is a blueprint for both the system and the project. It defines the work assignments that must be carried out by design and implementation teams. The architecture is the primary carrier of system qualities such as scalability, performance, modifiability, security, and cost reduction, none of which can be achieved without a unifying architectural vision. Architecture is an artifact for early analysis to make sure that a design approach will yield an acceptable system. By building effective architecture, you can identify design risks and mitigate them early in the development process. Software architecture dictates technical standards, including software coding standards, tools, and platforms. It gives the right technical solutions to ensure your success.
Benefits of Software Architecture
By now, you probably understand that a good software architecture is extremely important for a software project. Here are some benefits of software architecture that will tell you more about how it can help you in your project and why you should invest in a good software architecture.
It creates a solid foundation for the software project and makes your platform scalable. It increases the performance of the platform, reduces costs, and avoids code duplicity.
Software architecture also helps you in implementing a vision. Looking at the architecture is an effective way to view the overall state of IT and to develop a vision of where the organization needs to or wants to go with its IT structure. A software architect sees the big picture. In order to carry the architecture through to a successful conclusion, it’s important that somebody owns the big picture and sells the vision throughout the entirety of the software development lifecycle, evolving it throughout the project if necessary and taking responsibility for ensuring that it’s delivered successfully.
It also identifies areas for potential cost savings. Architecture helps an organization analyze its current IT and identify areas where changes could lead to cost savings. For instance, the architecture may show that multiple database systems could be changed so that only one product is used, reducing software and support costs. Provides a basis for reuse. The process of architecting can support both the use and creation of reusable assets. Reusable assets are beneficial to an organization since they can reduce the overall cost of a system and also improve its quality given that a reusable asset has already been proven
Software architecture allows for better code maintainability. It is easier to maintain existing software, as the structure of the code is visible and known, so it’s easier to find bugs and anomalies. It also enables quicker changes in IT Systems. There is increased demand for systems to change quickly to meet rapidly evolving business needs, legislative requirements, etc.
Software architecture increases the quality of the platform, helps manage complexity, and makes the platform faster. It offers higher adaptability. New technical features, such a different front ends, or the addition of a business rule engine are easier to achieve, as your software architecture creates a clear separation of concerns.
It helps in risk management, reduces its time to market, and reduces development time.
Having software architecture helps you prioritize conflicting goals. It facilitates communication with stakeholders, contributing to a system that better fulfills their needs. Communicating about complex systems from the point of view of stakeholders helps them understand the consequences of their stated requirements and the design decisions based on them. Architecture gives the ability to communicate about design decisions before the system is implemented when they are still relatively easy to adapt.
What a Software Architect Takes Into Consideration
- The end user is concerned with intuitive and correct behavior, performance, reliability, usability, availability, and security.
- The system administrator is concerned with intuitive behavior, administration, and tools to aid monitoring.
- The marketer is concerned with competitive features, time to market, positioning with other products, and cost.
- The customer is concerned with cost, stability, and schedule.
- The developer is concerned with clear requirements and a simple and consistent design approach.
- The project manager is concerned with predictability in the tracking of the project, schedule, productive use of resources, and budget.
- The maintainer is concerned with a comprehensible, consistent, and documented design approach, and the ease with which modifications can be made.
To sum up, a software architect creates a working ecosystem maintaining a global vision throughout all the phases of the project to positively influence time to market. A software architect finds the bottlenecks and proposes incremental upgrades in order to achieve a scalable and stable project. He or she drives architectural integrity, creates short-term and strategic guidelines, helps you manage complexity, reduces maintenance costs, and provides a basis for reuse.